Lower Saucon Township council reviewed a plan Wednesday to expand the Applebutter Road landfill, but took no official position on adding more capacity for trash at the facility. The township’s zoning hearing board will consider the plan at an Oct. 26 meeting.
The former City of Bethlehem landfill, now owned by Waste Connections Inc., has about 3.5 years of useful life left now, attorney Maryanne Garber said at council’s meeting Wednesday. The expansion would be on 29 acres within the boundaries of the 224-acre facility, said Garber, representing the landfill.
“It’s located entirely in the existing landfill,” Garber said of the “northern realignment project.” The landfill would not accept more material, but just continue regular operations. “It would be business as usual with no change in traffic” or hours, she said.
Officials said Thursday the proposed expansion would add 3.15 years of service to the landfill, giving it about 6.5 more years total from its current capacity. The expanded use would cover 25 acres already in use plus just under four more acres, Garber said. The maximum height of trash could reach 725 feet, in keeping with limits elsewhere at the facility. By comparison, the PPL Building in Allentown is 344 feet high.
Councilwoman Priscilla deLeon said residents of the Steel City area of the township already suffer from landfill noise and odors. “This landfill is to me the biggest impact on the township, on the township residents,” she said.